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A 31-year-old member asked:

what is cd4 and why is the cd4 cells counted in hiv?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 36 years experience
Immunity measure: Cd4 cells (helper t cells) are infected by the HIV virus. With time, the number of CD4 cells declines, which increases your risk for certain infections, malignancies, and other complications. Measuring the CD4 count gives you an indication of the health of your immune system, your risk of getting sick, and your response to treatment.

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A 39-year-old member asked:

Can I get HIV in other ways besides sexual intercourse?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Daniel Lee
Internal Medicine 26 years experience
Yes, several ways: The most common way to get HIV is thru unprotected sexual intercourse. However, other ways include sharing hiv-infected needles (often associated with using illegal injection drugs, rarely with tattooing but possible), receiving infected blood transfusions or blood products (though the blood supply is screened thoroughly these days), and passing HIV from mother to child thru breastfeeding.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Oral sex in which ejaculate from the penis is deposited on structures behind the oral cavity. The tonsils, lymph nodes in the throat, and other such areas upon which HIV may be deposited has been shown to be a source of disease.
Jan 17, 2013
A 22-year-old member asked:

Can HIV increase my chances of cancer?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlo Contreras
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Potentially: Poorly controlled HIV results in a condition where your own immune system is not capable of fighting off even common viruses and bacteria. Part of the normal function of the immune system is to kill cancerous cells in the body. So yes, HIV can increase your change of cancer in the long-term.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Does exposure to infected blood always transmit hiv?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Infectious Disease 21 years experience
Not Always: Exposure to most body fluids - especially blood & genital fluids - from a person with HIV has the potential to transmit the virus. If you have had an exposure discuss the details of that exposure with an expert - ideally within the first 24 hours. Steps can be taken in the first few days of an exposure to prevent lifelong infection with hiv. Locate a test/treatment site near you at www.Hivtest.Org.
A 30-year-old member asked:

How does pml affect people with hiv?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Mosley
Neurology 24 years experience
Poor prognosis: Pml is an infection of the brain by the jc virus, that usually only occurs if the immune system is very compromised (full blown aids, on transplant meds or some other meds). It causes brain damage and is usually fatal within a year when it does occur in aids.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Is it safe to live with an HIV positive family member?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 36 years experience
Yes: You don't get HIV from living with someone with hiv, only from sex. Close contact is not a risk.

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Last updated Feb 13, 2015

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